Are Our Pets Thinking?

I was asked by my daughter to watch her cat while she took a few days off to tour with a friend who is visiting her. Although I am very well-versed in living with a dog, cats are entities that I am not accustomed to at all. Suffice it to say, I tread with caution whenever I spend any time with Otis, although he seems bonded to me because he associates me with being fed.

Otis is new to the tropics. He has acclimated quickly and enjoys spending most of his time looking outside the screened-in porch. I worry about him getting out somehow so I mostly keep the door securely locked when he is under my care. When I am in the house getting his food ready, though, I do allow him the freedom to relish the outside goings on.

The other day I stopped sweeping debris from the room long enough to catch Otis as he was fascinated by something going on outside. I never saw what the object of his admiration was but I was captivated myself by thinking about what he could be thinking. He spends a lot of time on his own, my schedule does not permit me to spend hours playing with him or keeping him company.

Observing Otis for a long period of time made me nostalgic about what it might be like for a elderly, single person to spend a lot of time alone. I always had people around me growing up and in adulthood, the situation continues. I sometimes seek solitude by going somewhere on my own. I relish the few hours I can grab during the week when I have nothing on my plate and can luxuriate in just day dreaming. The probability that I can be alone at any given time is rare though, it’s just the way it is.

My daughter has been working remotely during Covid times. She lives alone except for her cat and in retrospect, it is a positive thing that she has a living creature to care for. I cannot imagine what months of isolation without a pet would be like, even for someone who seems to be very content with living alone. I think taking time off and working in a tropical environment has done wonders for both of them and now the big question remains what will happen when things “get back to normal” if indeed vaccinations prove to be effective enough to warrant going back to offices and life as it was. Time will tell.

For now I am enjoying getting to know more about cat behavior and look forward to future interactions with this strange creature that is beginning to recognize me and even give me the occasional “meow” and allows a tiny bit of stroking along his back.

picture my own

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